Change Up/ Off Speed

by Kali Capps
(Riverside, CA)

I use the backhanded flip when throwing a slow change up. In my experience, however, it's sometimes so slow that it gives the batter just enough time to reload her bat and take it deep into the outfield. Granted, it throws most batters off to the point that they're laughing at themselves because they just looked so silly swinging seconds before the pitch came; but it's those who are quick enough to regroup and reload that have forced me to rethink my whole strategy when it comes to change ups.

Most often, I use an off-speed, as opposed to a change up, to throw my batters off. I use the stiff wrist method. I hold the ball with my index finger and thumb around the backwards "C" on the threads. I come around in motion just like I would a fastball then as I release I kind of push the ball with a stiff wrist to get it across the plate just enough slower to throw the batter off completely. When I look down after releasing, my fingers that were once on the seams, are still in the shape of a "U". I hope that makes sense!

It is my best pitch by far. I'll throw it with a full count or on a 3-0 count without thinking twice. They never expect it then!

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Great Advice!
by: Dan

Hi Kali,

Thank you for your post. I agree with you that on a 3-0 or 3-2 count, most batters would never expect it.

I used to have a player that would intentionally go 0-2 and then sit on the change up and crush it over the outfielders' heads. I watched her do this a couple times and asked her if she did this intentionally. She smiled and said, "Yes, because I know the other coach will always call a change up, especially when I looked so bad on the first two pitches." Seemed awful smart for a 13 year old.

Also, great detail on how to grip the ball. Making the arm motion as seemless as possible to the fastball is the most effective way to trick the batter, which is what the change up is all about.

Thanks again for the great lesson!

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